Beowabbit (beowabbit) wrote,

The privilege meme

I’ve seen this in zillions of people’s journals. The list is based on an exercise developed by Will Barratt, Meagan Cahill, Angie Carlen, Minnette Huck, Drew Lurker, Stacy Ploskonka at Illinois State University. The exercise developers ask that if you participate in this blog game, you acknowledge their copyright. They also would like you to, as well as responding here (if you do), please post links or acknowledgments to

Father went to college
Father finished college
Mother went to college
Mother finished college (after the divorce)
Have any relative who is an attorney, physician, or professor
Were the same or higher class than your high school teachers [I don’t think so, but I’m not sure how I’d tell.]
Had more than 50 books in your childhood home
Had more than 500 books in your childhood home [Easily, and many of them were 18th-century editions. A wall is not complete unless it it has lots of leatherbound books on it. This means that my walls, alas, are mostly not complete.]
Were read children's books by a parent [frequently]
Had lessons of any kind before you turned 18 [I presume they mean extracurricular stuff like music lessons, rather than classes in school. Took me a little while to figure that out.]
Had more than two kinds of lessons before you turned 18
The people in the media who dress and talk like me are portrayed positively [Definitely for the talking. My dress is pretty neutral, which sort of means that I dress like what I see in the media.]
Had a credit card with your name on it before you turned 18
Your parents (or a trust) paid for the majority of your college costs [Nope; grants, loans, and scholarships, with some help from my parents.]
Your parents (or a trust) paid for all of your college costs
Went to a private high school
Went to summer camp
Had a private tutor before you turned 18 [not paid; some grad students gave me Chinese lessons for free, though. Oh! Actually, I had a private tutor some of one school year when I couldn’t attend school for medical reasons, but I’m pretty sure that was provided by the school district as part of my public schooling, so it probably doesn’t count for this purpose.]
Family vacations involved staying at hotels [not except the time some friends of the family gave us a hotel stay they had won in a raffle]
Your clothing was all bought new before you turned 18 [Probably; almost all, anyway.]
Your parents bought you a car that was not a hand-me-down from them
There was original art in your house when you were a child [I don’t remember anything in particular, but I’d wouldn’t be surprised if there were a piece or two. Lots of lovely prints!]
Had a phone in your room before you turned 18
You and your family lived in a single family house
Your parent(s) owned their own house or apartment before you left home
You had your own room as a child
Participated in an SAT/ACT prep course [I didn’t even know these existed; I’d probably have had to travel pretty far to attend one.]
Had your own TV in your room in High School [Much better: I had my own books!]
Owned a mutual fund or IRA in High School or College
Flew anywhere on a commercial airline before you turned 16 [Sort of. When I was a baby, we flew to England for my father’s Fullbright scholarship at Oxford. I think it was Oxford. I might have already been 16 when I took my second flight, to visit my father after my parents’ separated, but I’m not entirely sure. I was a frequent flyer in college, and often got to fly for free by getting travel vouchers when a flight was overbooked. Yay overbooking! I wish you could still do that reliably.]
Went on a cruise with your family [Sort of. When I was a somewhat older baby, we took the QE2 back to the States when my father’s Fullbright was over.]
Went on more than one cruise with your family
Your parents took you to museums and art galleries as you grew up [Occasionally; there wasn’t much in my home town, but when we travelled we went to museums.]
You were unaware of how much heating bills were for your family

I agree with the criticisms lots of people have posted about this meme; lots of the items have to do with education more directly than with privilege (although of course they’re very closely related). And my own particular answers are often affected by geography more than social class (although again there’s some degree of correlation). Still, it was kind of interesting.

(By the way, silverlibre and ka9sqb, you should feel free to correct anything I’m misremembering or misrepresenting.)
Tags: family, me, money, my personal history

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